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WorkSafe NZ – is there a duty to notify them?

Along with the definitions of various notifiable events and the like you then need to know what duty each one has assigned to it in relation to WorkSafe NZ.

The duty to notify WorkSafe NZ of notifiable events

As soon as a PCBU becomes aware that a notifiable event arising out of the conduct of the business/undertaking has occurred, the PCBU will be required to immediately notify the regulator.  The notification must be by the fastest possible means in the circumstances, which may be by telephone.  The regulator may additionally require written notice of the incident within 48 hours of the initial notification.  Alternatively, the regulator may waive written notice and instead give the PCBU an acknowledgement that the notice has been received, and details of what information the PCBU has told it.

If the PCBU fails to notify the regulator immediately after becoming aware that a notifiable event has occurred, the person (either a natural person i.e. an individual, or a legal person like a company) who contravened the duty commits an offence and will be liable on conviction:

For an individual, to a fine not exceeding $10,000. For any other person, to a fine not exceeding $50,000.

The duty to keep records of notifiable events

A PCBU will be required to keep a record of all notifiable events for at least 5 years commencing with the date that the PCBU notifies the regulator of each event (in accordance with the duty to notify as outlined above).  A failure to keep this record will mean that the person in contravention of the duty will be committing an offence, and liable on conviction:

For an individual, to a fine not exceeding $5,000. For any other person, to a fine not exceeding $25,000.

The duty to ensure that the site where a notifiable event has occurred is kept undisturbed

As is the case under the present Act, the Bill will impose a duty on the person who manages or controls a workplace at which a notifiable event has occurred, to, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure that the site is not disturbed until authorised by an inspector.  This is commonly known as “freezing” the scene.  The site includes any plant, substance, structure, or thing associated with the notifiable event.

The person who breaches this duty will be committing an offence and will be liable on conviction:
For an individual, to a fine not exceeding $10,000. For any other person, to a fine not exceeding $50,000.

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